Rutherford County, TN - Thanks to a brave homeowner in the rural community of Christiana, Tennessee, Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose, the two Georgia fugitives who murdered two corrections officers, are back in handcuffs where they belong.
On Thursday, June 15, the hero homeowner, whose name was not released, "...was alerted somehow, he looked outside and saw the suspects trying to steal his vehicle", according to Lieutenant Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He got his gun, called a neighbor who came armed with a gun, and confronted the fugitives.
Dubose and Rowe surrendered, and Rutherford County deputies arrived soon after to take them into custody, according to CNN.
Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said "I can't say enough about the bravery of the homeowner, and what they took on, the wherewithal to call us and give us the information so we could get over there and apprehend these two subjects."
UPDATE: The homeowner, Patrick Hale, says he used prayers, not guns.
Dubose and Rowe escaped on Tuesday, June 13, after overpowering and murdering Georgia Corrections Officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue. It is still not known how they were able to access the secure area where the guards were. Both Dubose and Rowe were cellmates.
Dubose is a member of the white supremacist group Ghostface Gangsters, and was serving 20 years for various charges including assaulting and robbing a disabled veteran. Rowe was serving a sentence of life without parole for convictions of armed robbery and aggravated assault.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said that he went to the scene, and said, "I saw two brutally murdered corrections officers, that's what I saw. I have their blood on my shoes."
The escaped inmates had stolen the fallen hero officers' guns, and then carjacked a car that had pulled up behind the bus.
A massive manhunt followed, including 'law enforcement officers all over Georgia, as well as the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives', according to Fox News.
Lookouts were broadcast,and social media was used for broadcasting lookouts of the dangerous fugitives. They ransacked a house about 30 miles later, and stole clothing that they immediately changed into. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Dubose and Rowe stole a white Ford Truck from a Madison, Georgia business.
They made it to Moore County, Tennessee, where they abandoned the truck, and stole a car, which they later ditched in Bedford County, Tennessee, after trying to hide it by covering it with branches and grass.
Dubose and Rowe walked up a hill, and went to a home, located in Shelbyville, about 30 miles from the Georgia and Tennessee state border. They broke into the home and terrorized an elderly couple for about three hours.
Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing said, "They wrestled with the man and got control of him and threatened both of their lives. [They] tied the man up with a belt and put socks on his hands where he couldn't use his fingers."
During those three hours, the two fugitives fed themselves, and stole jewelry, shoes, and clothing. Sheriff Swing said that Dubose and Rowe stole the elderly couple's Jeep Cherokee, after another of the couple's cars wouldn't start.
They were spotted about 10 miles away, when Sheriff Fitzhugh said a deputy tried to pull them over without knowing who they were. Dubose and Rowe opened fire on deputies, and struck several vehicles, as they fled. No one was injured in that incident.
Deputies pursued the fugitives, who crashed the Jeep Cherokee and ran into nearby woods, where they would soon meet the hero homeowner. Dubose and Rowe ran through these woods to a home on Pruitt Road, which happened to belong to the hero who captured them.
Additional charges are pending against Dubose and Rowe. Extradition back to the state of Georgia is next, as well as determining who gets the $130,000 reward offered for the inmates' capture.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said, “Rest assured, justice will be served. My sincere thanks to our local, state and federal law enforcement officers who assisted in the manhunt. Because of their tireless efforts, the public is safe."
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of fallen Georgia Corrections Officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue, both blood and blue.
A special thank you to that brave homeowner. Well done.